Notts Pot 2 – Sunday 22 July 2012
Armed with a survey, description and good weather forecast Danny and I set off for Leck Fell just about finding somewhere to park at the approved area near Lost Johns. Following a march back down the road we located the entrance to Iron Kiln Hole which is the entrance to the system; the plan being to visit the downstream sump and the formations at Curry Inlet. For those unfamiliar, the entrance series is a 40m vertical mined shaft shored up with masses of scaffolding tubes and concrete blocks with aluminium ladders providing an easy climb down. At the base of the shaft is a slither through into a small chamber and then a climb up to another ladder and down into another chamber followed by another 7m climb down to a damp and drippy shored area. Then follows a rift with a free-climbable traverse down into a large passage – Mincemeat Aven.
Following this passage descends into Inlet 13 and into the main streamway. We headed down stream past the various inlets to Kleine Scheidegg Chamber where the stream disappears into cobbles under the right wall. Under normal water level conditions we would have crawled through the low bedding to the sump but gave it a miss on this occasion as it would have involved getting rather wet. We then set off back up stream, past the way in and on up towards the Nick Point where the nature of the cave changes from a narrow meandering streamway to a wide spacious passage with deep pools. Before reaching this area a huge column is passed soaring up to the roof and also a rope hanging down which provides access to the flood escape route back to Mincemeat Aven.
Curry Inlet is found in the left hand side of the passage just upstream of the Nick Point and a short walk beyond the impressive stalagmite – Vlad the Impaler. It is adorned with very impressive stals, columns and flowstones and is worth a visit any day.
We then exited by reversing the route back down the stream way, to Inlet 13 and then back up Iron Kiln Hole out into the sunshine. An excellent trip, which was about two and a half hours long.